TSA agent Michael Pujol was recently apprehended in a string of thefts from airline passengers. Pujol admitted to stuffing passengers iPods, cash, and other valuables into a hidden pocket in his work jacket. He was caught after a stolen iPod was tracked back to his craigslist ad. Pujol admitted he had been stealing from passengers over the last three years.
Just a week ago a TSA screener was arrested for stealing a passengers laptop at a screening area. A few weeks before that the TSA was accused of stealing money from a passenger, but refused to release the video tapes of the incident because of “security concerns.”
In January 2011, TSA officials were caught stealing $40,000 from a passengers bag. They were sentenced to a ridiculously short 6 month jail term.
In a Ft. Lauderdale airport a TSA agent was caught stealing a $450 pen from a prominent car dealer.
In Memphis, a a TSA agent named Ricky German took a laptop from the screening area. When questioned by the police he claimed that he found the laptop. Security footage revealed that he threw away papers with the passengers name on it and hid it.
These are just a few of the cases of TSA theft in 2011. Let’s not forget the ridiculous liquid confiscation scheme the TSA has enacted, and the Congressional approval for the TSA to keep the loose change left by passengers.
It makes you wonder how many trinkets and how much money is actually being stolen from passengers per year that goes unreported. One would have to assume that the vast majority of these thefts go unnoticed and unreported until the passenger leaves the airport. At that point, it would be almost impossible for the passenger to know when the money was taken, and who is responsible for the theft. Even if a passenger did suspect TSA officials, it would be very difficult to prove, and in many cases where the sum is under the thousands, not worth the time to report it. Perhaps the TSA should be renamed to the Transportation Theft Administration.